Friday, March 29, 2019

From Ian:

Official: Obama White House Pushed Delay of Anti-Israel U.N. Resolution to Provide Cover for Clinton
A former Obama administration official said the administration orchestrated the delaying of a controversial anti-Israel United Nations resolution until after the 2016 presidential election, knowing it would pass when the United States abstained.

The official's claim contradicts on-the-record denials by Obama administration officials, who attacked critics at the time who suggested they were involved in its drafting.

Speaking anonymously to the New York Times, the official said the White House feared putting pressure on Hillary Clinton to either condemn or defend the resolution against Israeli settlements and potentially upset Jewish donors during her election fight against Donald Trump. The U.S. decision to abstain on U.N. Security Council resolution 2334 was widely viewed as a parting shot by Obama at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"There is a reason the U.N. vote did not come up before the election in November," the former official said, in a portion of the report flagged by Jewish Insider. "Was it because you were going to lose voters to Donald Trump? No. It was because you were going to have skittish donors. That, and the fact that we didn’t want Clinton to face pressure to condemn the resolution or be damaged by having to defend it."

The official said fear of donor wrath dictated not only "what was done but what was not done, and what was not even contemplated."

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro strongly denied the anonymous quote, telling Jewish Insider it was a "garbage claim" and the administration, as it professed at the time, was caught by surprise by the Egyptian-Palestinian drafted resolution.

The U.N. Security Council voted 14-0 on Resolution 2334 on Dec. 23, 2016, to demand a halt to settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, deeming both areas to be illegally occupied by Israel. East Jerusalem is home to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, a Jewish holy site.

Wiretaps: Turkey Aided Passage of Militant ISIS Terrorists Into Syria
A cache of wiretaps originating in Turkey appear to show the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aiding the passage of militant fighters tied to the ISIS terror group into and out of Syria, according to new reports that are raising questions about Turkey's commitment to its military alliance with Washington, D.C.

The wiretaps are said to show Erdogan's government working alongside ISIS fighters, despite its public rhetoric in support of the American campaign to decimate the Islamic terror group.

Turkey's alliance with the United States has been stressed for some time, as Erdogan continues his anti-Israel rhetoric and a series of policies that have strained relations between the Trump administration and Ankara.

The wiretaps shine light on what experts have described as Turkey's private efforts to aid ISIS and create further havoc in war-torn Syria.

"A review of hundreds of secret wiretap records obtained from confidential sources in the Turkish capital of Ankara reveals how the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has enabled—and even facilitated—the movement of foreign and Turkish militants across the Turkish border into Syria to fight alongside jihadists in the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant," according to a report published by the Investigative Journal, a long form reporting portal.

"Recorded conversations between ISIL operatives reveal a different story from the one the Erdoğan government tells publicly," the report states. "They suggest the government has provided political cover, without which it would be impossible for ISIL to operate and evade prosecution. The wiretap records, obtained by authorization from the courts, were part of an ISIL legal investigation launched in 2014 by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office."



Evelyn Gordon: By recognizing the Golan, Trump revives the idea that aggression shouldn’t be cost-free
The principle that territory can't be acquired through force, far from deterring aggression, actually rewards it. For an aggressor, starting a war becomes almost cost-free. If he wins, he achieves whatever goal he sought to achieve. And if he loses, the international community will pressure his victim to return any captured lands, thereby ensuring that he pays no territorial price.

After World War II, the Allies had no qualms about forcing Germany, the aggressor, to cede territory to its victims.

Claiming that Trump has just legitimized acts of aggression like Russia's seizure of Crimea is possible only under the warped interpretation of international law that makes no distinction between offensive and defensive wars. The Golan and Crimea are completely different cases because the former was acquired in a defensive war and the latter in an offensive one.

The claim that the decision undermines prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace is also wrong. Until now, every time the Palestinians rejected an Israeli peace offer, the international community rewarded them by demanding additional Israeli concessions. But now, Trump has shown that rejectionism carries a price. Trump is restoring the distinction that used to exist between offensive and defensive wars, thereby restoring international law to sanity.
Dore Gold Why Israeli Sovereignty Over the Golan Heights Matters
Critics of the U.S. decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights misread the legal significance of the preamble to UN Security Council Resolution 242, from November 1967, which contains a reference to the principle of the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war."

Legal scholars have drawn a distinction between the seizure of territory in wars of aggression, which is illegal, and the seizure of territory by a state exercising its lawful right of self-defense.

Writing in the American Journal of International Law in 1970, Stephen Schwebel, who became the legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State and then President of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, wrote about the legal significance of this difference. He also cited the great British scholar Elihu Lauterpacht, who argued that "territorial change cannot properly take place as a result of the unlawful use of force."

What about cases of the lawful use of force? In the aftermath of the Second World War, significant territorial changes were implemented in Europe. For example, Germany lost considerable land to Poland and to the Soviet Union. It was clear that the UN Charter recognized the right of states to use force in self-defense, which is the case of Israel's entry into the Golan Heights.

In 1967, when the Soviet Union undertook to obtain condemnation of Israel in the UN Security Council as the aggressor in the Six-Day War, it failed, losing the vote by 11 to 4. The Soviets then went to the General Assembly and failed yet again. It was clear for the member states of both UN bodies that Israel had acted in self-defense.

It is also not true that the Golan decision represents a major shift in U.S. policy. In 1975, President Gerald Ford wrote to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that the U.S. "will give great weight to Israel's position that any peace agreement be predicated on Israel's remaining on the Golan Heights."

In 1991, Secretary of State James Baker wrote a new letter to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir reconfirming the Ford letter. In 1996, Secretary of State Warren Christopher wrote to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recommitting the U.S. yet again to the Ford letter.


Could the Trump team’s plan resemble a one state solution?
Trump administration officials have been silent and notably leak-free about what exactly is in the Middle East peace plan that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is shaping — until now.

This week, in speeches to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, it became clear that the plan will likely not accommodate a Palestinian state, or at least the sovereignty that attaches to statehood.

David Friedman, Trump’s ambassador to Israel and one of three members of the peace team, in his AIPAC speech outlined why Israel should seize the opportunity of the still-to-be-seen peace plan: It allows Israel to maintain security control of the West Bank, and a future U.S. administration might not be so understanding.

“Can we leave this to an administration that may not understand the existential risk to Israel if Judea and Samaria are overcome by terrorists in the manner that befell the Gaza Strip after the IDF withdrew from this territory?” he asked, using the preferred Israeli name for the West Bank. “Can we leave this to an administration that may not understand the need for Israel to maintain overriding security control of Judea and Samaria and a permanent defense position in the Jordan Valley?”

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency asked Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s top Middle East negotiator and the third member of the Kushner peace team, whether this meant that Israeli control of the West Bank was in the deal, as opposed to a Palestinian state making its own defense and foreign policy decisions.
Top US Official: Energy Independence Enables Trump to Take Stronger Pro-Israel Positions
The US shale boom has enabled the Trump administration to more strongly back Israel, top American official told the Financial Times.

The lack of dependence on foreign oil has “allowed the president to make foreign policy decisions that simply were not available to previous presidents, at least not in my lifetime,” Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in remarks published on Thursday.

“The freedom that this allows this president, and future presidents … is simply stunning,” he added.

This marked a “radically different” situation from 1973-74, when the Arab members of OPEC imposed an oil embargo after the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, Brouillette noted.

Brouillette pointed to last year’s relocation of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and this week’s recognition by Trump of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights as moves made possible by this development.

“Our foreign policy choices are affected by our new position in the marketplace,” he said. “Those decisions would not have been made if we were still dependent upon others to provide oil and gasoline to the United States.”
American declaration on the Golan Heights: Israeli historical achievement
During the events in Gaza and the storming election race, the US president’s declaration to recognize Israel sovereignty in the Golan Heights, has been seen as an election contribution to his friend, Benjamin Netanyahu.

This interpretation does injustice to this historical act.

This is a tremendous strategic achievement for the State of Israel, which is not less important, and in some respects even more important than the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a more symbolic act which attests the deep ties between Israel and the US.

It supports the battle of consciousness over the establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and helps to legitimize similar acts of other states. The American declaration on the Golan Heights in the other hand has a lot of more than only symbolic significance, and above all, it is an act with a dramatic contribution to Israel's national security.

Today, after Syria disintegrated during its civil war and its reemergence in the last year, the importance of the Golan Heights has become even more important because of the deep involvement of Iran and Hezbollah.
Syria is a Failed Experiment. Why Do Some Still Foolishly Insist on Reattaching the Golan Heights to It?
While the U.S. has recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, most of the world still insists that the territory properly belongs to Syria. Douglas Feith explains why Syria’s claims to the area rest on shaky historical grounds, and why the Middle East is better off leaving it to Israel.

Syria has been an unhappy political experiment. It never secured for its multiethnic population freedom, prosperity, or domestic tranquility. Aided by Iran and Russia, the Bashar al-Assad regime has just won a long civil war through mass murder of its own civilians (including by use of prohibited chemical weapons) and by imposing on other countries millions of desperate, impoverished refugees. Under the circumstances, there is no compelling reason for local or world powers to remain committed to reassembling Syria as it existed before the civil war, [let alone before 1967]. . . .

Syria’s borders do not have deep roots in religion, culture, or history. They reflect nothing profounder than the interests of France and Britain at a moment in the early 20th century. [And they] have spawned resentment and belligerence among the country’s leaders, who have never respected the lines. They have continually used their military forces or terrorist proxies to violate the sovereignty of Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel. . . .

When Syria someday, with new leadership, seeks to reestablish official relations with the United States, it will now have to do so on the understanding that Israeli retention of the Golan is a closed issue. Syria’s new leadership would not then be asked to humiliate itself by ceding the territory but only to recognize that President Assad lost it permanently as one of the many consequences of the civil war.
Solid Majority of Israeli Jews View Trump’s Recognition of Golan Heights Sovereignty as ‘Helpful’
A new survey by the Israel Democracy Institute shows that the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews viewed President Donald Trump’s recognition of their country’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights as “helpful.”

The recognition was formalized at a White House ceremony on Monday attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After Trump signed the proclamation, he told Netanyahu, “This was a long time in the making.”

“Just as Israel stood tall in 1967, just as it stood tall in 1973, Israel stands tall today,” Netanyahu said afterward. “We hold the high ground and we should never give it up.”

According to the IDI survey, 62 percent of Israelis saw the move as helpful. Nineteen percent said it was neither helpful nor harmful. Nine percent considered it harmful, and 10 percent said they did not know.

The numbers were quite different among Israeli Arabs. Only 21 percent said Trump’s decision was helpful, while 28 percent characterized it as harmful. Twenty percent said it was neither and 31 percent answered that they did not know.





Tunisia It Will Coordinate Arab Response to US Golan Move
Tunisia will coordinate with fellow Arab countries to contain any fallout from the US decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui said on Friday.

Jhinaoui was addressing a meeting of Arab foreign ministers on the day before Tunisia hosts the annual Arab League summit, which is expected to focus on the US decision on the Golan Heights and its move last year to recognize Jerusalem as Israel‘s capital.

“We will work with fellow Arab countries and the international community to contain the expected repercussions of this decision in the various regional and international forums,” Jhinaoui told Arab foreign ministers at a meeting in Tunis.

Tunisia currently holds the rotating presidency of the Arab League.

Arab countries condemned last week’s decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. They consider the area as occupied territory belonging to Syria, whose membership of the Arab League was suspended at the start of its nearly 8-year civil war.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981 in a step not recognized internationally.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro walks back embassy move promise
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro walked back his promise to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Bolsonaro, who is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Sunday for an official visit just days before Israel’s national elections, told reporters in Brasilia on Thursday that his government may instead open a “business office” in Jerusalem, Reuters reported.

The news service reported that Brazil’s agriculture sector is against the Jerusalem move because it could damage the country’s lucrative halal meat trade with Arab countries.

Bolsonaro made the embassy pledge during last year’s presidential campaign and doubled down after taking office in January. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended Bolsonaro’s inauguration in Brasilia and achieved near rock-star status there.

Brazil’s foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, said last week the government was “still studying” the plan.
Israel convicts French consulate worker of Gaza-West Bank gun-running
A French employee of his country’s consulate in Jerusalem was convicted Thursday of smuggling dozens of guns from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank in an official car.

The Beersheba District Court found Romain Franck, a 24-year-old French citizen who worked as a driver at the consulate, guilty of several weapons offenses, the Ynet news site reported.

He was convicted of importing weapons, carrying and transporting them, and accepting items fraudulently under aggravated circumstances.

The State Attorney’s Office reportedly asked the court to sentence Franck to seven years imprisonment and give him a fine.

Franck took advantage of reduced security checks for consular vehicles to transport the weapons out of Gaza to the West Bank. He was accused along with several Palestinian suspects of belonging to a gun-running network.

Israeli authorities have stressed he acted on his own without the consulate’s knowledge, adding that diplomatic relations with France were not affected.
Netanyahu Approves 5,000 New Housing Units, Including Efrat, Beitar Illit
Feel free to “blame” it on the heating election campaign, but the fact is that the political echelon has approved plans for about five thousand housing units in Judea and Samaria, some of which still require a number of approval stages, according to a document published by JDN News on Friday.

The document is a letter sent on Thursday by assistant defense minister for the settlement Kobi Eliraz to the assistant to the coordinator of government activities in the territories Major Adam Avidan, indicating that the political echelon has approved a large number of housing units as follows:

Almost 1,000 housing units will be built in Betar Ilit, 1,000 in Efrat, 343 in Elkana, 750 in Ma’aleh Adumim, 323 in Kfar Adumim, 263 in Karnei Shomron, 250 in Harsha, 176 in Givat Ze’ev, 165 in Shilo, 107 in Elon Moreh, 73 in Ariel, 40 in Pedu’el, 64 in Oranit, 38 in Nokdim, 32 in Beit Aryeh, and 27 in Klalim.
A sign in the Jewish settlement of Efrat in Gush Etzion. / Gershon Elinson/Flash90

Two weeks ago, Srugim reported that the Construction and Housing Ministry is about to approve hundreds of new housing units in Judea and Samaria, some of which will be built outside the settlement blocs.
Martin Sherman: Gaza - Disaster foretold
The nightmare stories of the Likud are well known. After all, they promised Katyusha rockets from Gaza as well. For a year, Gaza has been largely under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. There has not been a single Katyusha rocket. Nor will there be any Katyushas. – Yitzhak Rabin, Radio Interview, July 24, 1995. (see Hebrew video below)

I am firmly convinced and truly believe that this disengagement... will be appreciated by those near and far, reduce animosity, break through boycotts and sieges and advance us along the path of peace with the Palestinians and our other neighbors. – Ariel Sharon, Knesset address, October 25, 2004. (see Hebrew video below)

These two excerpts—from addresses made almost a decade apart—indicate just how grievously the Israeli public has been led astray for years by its elected leaders.

Distressing record of misjudgment

Indeed, there is a distressing record of documented evidence, underscoring the gross misjudgment of the senior echelons of Israel’s leadership on the “Palestinian” issue, in general, and the Gaza one, in particular.

Sadly, time and again, we have elected leaders seemingly willing to jettison every shred of prudence and principle to preserve their positions of power and privilege, even if it meant defending the most absurd policies; even if the ruinous consequences of their actions were not only eminently foreseeable, but explicitly foreseen.

The introductory citations by two past prime ministers, both with rich military backgrounds, are startling in the magnitude of their mistaken assessments.
Mordechai Kedar: The Gaza imbroglio
The myth of managing the conflict

It is with this dismal history in mind that the Israel public should evaluate the declarations and decisions of its government in the present and the future.

This is true with regard to what appears to be the underlying rationale of the current policy—or lack thereof—of “managing the conflict”.

While in some conflictual contexts, “conflict management” may have some merit, this is certainly not so in the case of the conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs in general, and in the case of Gaza in particular.

After all, the underlying rationale of conflict management is the belief that, at some unspecified time, the Palestinian-Arabs of Gaza will, for some unspecified reason, and by some unspecified process, morph into something they have not been for over 100 years—and show no signs of morphing into in the foreseeable future. (Indeed, it would be intriguing to discover just how “conflict management” enthusiasts envision dealing with Gaza in 20 years time—if no such miraculous metamorphosis occurs.)

With its threadbare intellectual underpinnings, it is little wonder that “conflict management”—aka “kicking the can down the road”—has been a monumental failure. In this regard see: “Mowing the lawn” won’t cut it and “Conflict management”: The collapse of a concept.

After all, while Israel has been “managing the conflict” with Hamas in Gaza (and even more so with Hezbollah in the North), we have seen what was essentially a terrorist nuisance evolve into a strategic threat of ominous proportions. Perversely, after every military clash with Israel, designed to debilitate their military capabilities, the terror organizations have eventually emerged with those capabilities greatly enhanced! (h/t Elder of Lobby)


High Level Military Group: The Situation in Gaza: Hamas, The UNHRC, and What's at Stake for the UK
Committee Room 4a, House of Lords, London, SW1A 0AA
April 3, 2019

The Situation in Gaza: Hamas, The UNHRC, and What's at Stake for the UK
Col. Richard Kemp, High Level Military Group, and Natasha Hausdorff, UK Lawyers for Israel

The Friends of Israel Initiative is a forum of World Leaders chaired by former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, working to support diplomatic initiatives for peace and stability in the Middle East based on reasonable debates about the region’s only democracy

Gaza has been a flashpoint for many years, not least since Hamas, a terrorist organisation committed to Israel’s destruction, staged a violent takeover to gain total control over its governance. Since then, Hamas has fought three wars with Israel, interspersed with periods of attrition and low-level conflict. During these times Hamas has become an innovator of terror, first switching to home-built missiles in order to overcome Israel’s barrier against suicide bombers, then to tunnels in order to infiltrate underground, and finally to large scale border riots aimed at breaching the border. Recently the United Nations Human Rights Council published the results of its inquiry into these border riots, while rocket fire from Gaza has intensified in the run up to Israel’s imminent election.

At this Parliamentary briefing chaired by Baroness Deech, our speakers will examine the findings of the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry report from a legal and military perspective, comment on the ongoing struggle between Israel and Hamas and its latest flare-up and examine the very real implications for the United Kingdom of the misapprehensions and moral ambiguities that plague this conflict all too often in the public debate in the West.
Mothers From Southern Israel Tell Stories of Life Under Rocket Fire
The Israeli Foreign Ministry released a video on Thursday showing Israeli mothers who live near the border with the Gaza Strip describing what it is like to live under constant Hamas rocket fire, its traumatizing effects, and even the sympathy they have developed for Palestinian mothers in Gaza.

Noa Berkeley of the border town of Sderot said, “My kids will never go alone, anywhere in the house, all the time. We plan out steps from a bomb shelter to a bomb shelter. We always leave a crack open in the window so we can hear the sirens from outside, because if you put on music, and if you put on air conditioning, then sometimes you won’t hear the sirens.”

When there is a warning siren, she describes the response as “very high adrenaline, the heart beats, the body shakes.”

Nonetheless, she did not lack sympathy for the Palestinians on the other side of the border, saying, “Many of the people in Gaza are captive by the Hamas terror organization as much as we are. I am a strong believer in peace and I am praying for it.”


Gaza’s ‘Night Disturbers’ Put Israeli Border Residents on Edge Ahead of Anniversary
Hurling pipe bombs and setting off firecrackers, “Night Disturbance Units” have become a new phenomenon on the Israel-Gaza Strip frontier in the run-up to the first anniversary of the start of deadly border protests.

Organizers say the intention of the night-time events is to fray the nerves of Israeli military lookouts and to lower morale in Israeli communities along the 30-mile border.

With loudspeakers blaring patriotic music into the dark, the dusk-till-dawn demonstrations began small and escalated in recent days, ahead of a massive protest rally expected at sites along the frontier on Saturday.

“We come at night to prove to the occupation that we do not fear your weapons, they should fear us,” said one 20-year-old Gazan undergraduate.

“We burn tires, hurl stones, make noises using firecrackers. Why should our people suffer alone, they should suffer too,” added the protester, who would not give his name, fearing Israeli reprisals.

Although scores of Gazans attend, the night protests are not as big as in the daytime. In the dark, the demonstrators cannot see far as they face off against Israeli security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.
JCPA: Is Hamas Planning Clashes in the West Bank, Too?
March 30, 2019, may be a watershed in Hamas strategy – shifting the pressures on Israel and the Palestinian Authority from Gaza to the West Bank.

Sources in Ramallah report that the Palestinian Authority’s security forces are deployed in the West Bank to contain the “Return” marches and “Land Day” demonstrations that Hamas is organizing for March 30. Those sources say that there are contacts between the PA security forces and Hamas to “regularize” the marches in the West Bank at agreed-upon locations so that there will be no loss of control. However, there is no confirmation that such an agreement has been achieved.

This means that for the first time, Hamas will present itself in large numbers in the West Bank, not as a terror organization but as a force that can mobilize large public gatherings.

We must wait and see to what extent Hamas is capable of accomplishing this task, but the mere intention tells us a lot about its future strategy.
Hamas said to back Egypt’s plan for Gaza calm ahead of huge anniversary protest
Hamas has backed an Egyptian proposal to foster calm on the Israel-Gaza border ahead of expected major protests, two officials from the terrorist group said Friday.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli side on the potential agreement, and the leader of the Gaza terror group confirmed that work was ongoing on “serious understandings” that will ease the humanitarian condition in the Strip.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are expected to gather Saturday for the first anniversary of the often violent protests along the border.

An Egyptian delegation held talks with Hamas and other factions in Gaza in meetings that stretched into the early hours of Friday, the officials said.

A Hamas official who took part in the meetings told AFP on condition of anonymity they had backed an Egyptian proposal that will see protesters stay several hundred meters from the border.
Haniyeh: Our behaviour at march of the million depends on our demands being met
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke on Friday afternoon regarding the negotiations with Israel mediated by Egypt, explaining that the behavior of Hamas at march of the million will depend on their demands being met.

"We continue our discussions today with our Egyptian brothers and with the participation of the factions," Haniyeh said. "We are completing our earlier discussions so as to achieve our goal. We stand at a crossroads and a deep examination of Israeli stances, as well as Israel's response to the needs of our nation."

Haniyeh explained that based on decisions made at these deliberations, they will "determine the way in which the situation will pan out at the march of the million of Land Day."

"We are in the final stretch of the road, which will have a serious impact on the decisions of Hamas and the factions and especially on the future," he stated.

"We are working with our Egyptian brothers to find a solution to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza to end the suffering of our people and establish their dignity in their country," Haniyeh said. "All of this will be achieved by reaching some serious understandings that will be respected by the enemy, understandings which include the need for a ceasefire, the entrance of humanitarian aide and the implementation of projects, the opening of crossings and fishing, employment programs and treatment of electricity problems and more, by way of the removal of the siege over the Gaza Strip."

Haniyeh said that Hamas continues to "coordinate intensely with our brothers in Qatar."
Hamas in its Own Words


One Year of Violent Hamas Riots


Hamas turns violent on peaceful protesters in Gaza
Coming just days before a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel erupted into an exchange of missiles between the two sides, a Hamas crackdown on peaceful protesters in Gaza has drawn the condemnation of other factions and human rights groups. Hamas, however, says the Palestinian Authority (PA) and President Mahmoud Abbas instigated the protests as a political ploy.

Palestinians have taken to the streets under the slogan “We want to live,” protesting price hikes and the dire living conditions in the Gaza Strip. Hamas’ security forces cracked down on demonstrators soon after the protests began March 14, arresting hundreds of protesters and using violence to disperse the gatherings. Several human rights activists and journalists were arrested; their phones and cameras were confiscated.

In light of the deteriorating security situation in the Gaza Strip, Hamas’ security services temporarily released March 25 all citizens arrested during their participation in the peaceful protests against the movement’s rule. However, the security services forced them to sign pledges that they will remain under house arrest and avoid use of social media, knowing that their personal computers and phones remain in the custody of the security services.

The director of the Gaza-based office of the Independent Commission for Human Rights and the head of the commission’s complaints department were beaten March 16 as they were documenting the crackdown on protesters in Deir al-Balah town in central Gaza Strip.


Palestinian-Jordanian professor called Holocaust 'an illusion'
Well-known Palestinian-Jordanian Professor of Islamic Law, Ahmad Nofal, has called the Holocaust "an illusion," the Middle East Media Research Institute revealed on Friday morning .

MEMRI posted a video of Nofal's weekly Yarmouk TV show from Marc 22 in which the professor shared his outrage about how the French had not apologized for the effects their nuclear bomb tests in the 1960s still has today on residents who lived in the desert area where it took place.

Seconds later, his comments about the matter turned into a rant against the Jews.

"France tested nuclear bombs in the Algerian desert and to this day, babies are born dead or deformed," he claimed. "[Former French leaders] Jaques Chirac or [Francois] Mitterrand - I forgot which one of them visited Algeria - refused to apologize for this... Europe apologized to the Zionists for the illusion of the Holocaust."




Cat Stevens to perform at Christchurch's National Remembrance Service
Cat Stevens and Marlon Williams will be among the artists to perform at a National Remembrance Service for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Cat Stevens - the stage name of Yusuf Islam - joins Maisey Rika, Hollie Smith and Teeks in the service to honour the 50 people killed, which will be held at Hagley Park starting at 10am on Friday, 29 March.

"In the week since the unprecedented terror attack there has been an outpouring of grief and love in our country," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.

"The service will be a chance to once again show that New Zealanders are compassionate, inclusive and diverse, and that we will protect those values."

She said the terror attack provoked international attention and grief, and she anticipates guests and visitors from many other countries will travel to New Zealand to attend the services.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the service will be a time for unity.

"I am very proud of the way our city and nation have responded to this terrorist attack. What happened on Friday, March 15, 2019 will never define us. It is what has happened since, the love and compassion, that's what defines us.

"Coming together on Friday will demonstrate support for all our communities, no matter where we were born, no matter where and how we choose to express our faith. We do not stand alone, we stand together.

"We will not be divided by hatred, we will be united by love."
Cat Stevens Calls For The Death Of Salman Rushdie



Ilhan Omar Pissed She Didn’t Think of Blaming Mossad for Christchurch Shooting (satire)

With the leader of New Zealand’s biggest mosque blaming the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, for attacks against Muslim worshippers that left 50 dead earlier this month, US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is reportedly furious at herself for not coming up with it earlier.

“I take a lot of pride in making sure that I tap each and every opportunity to advance anti-Semitic stereotypes,” Omar told The Mideast Beast. “I can’t believe I missed one as obvious as ‘the Jews are secretly behind a mass killing.’”

Omar’s comments came after Ahmed Bhamji, the chairman of Masjid E Umar, said that he is “not afraid to say I feel Mossad is behind” the attacks, which were carried out by an Australian white supremacist. Bhamji also blamed “Zionist business houses.”

Omar was quick to condemn the remarks, saying that making baseless accusations against Israel and the Jews is her job.

“Frankly, this guy is stepping on my turf,” Omar said.



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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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